Every year I want to start my Christmas Shopping early, and spend the Christmas Season wrapping presents, sipping eggnog, and listening to Christmas Music.  But, every year it slowly sneaks up on me until I have a small panic attack as I frantically make out the shopping list, calculate the hours needed to shop, and realize there aren’t enough hours to make it all happen.  Next year, I promise to make my list sooner, and start shopping sooner.

But that’s next year.  This year, I have just a few short shopping days left.  I have a few strategies up my sleeve, one of which involves begging friends and family to text me if they happen to be out shopping on their own and find something that I need.  Since that is not a truly foolproof plan, I also plan to shop locally.  We have had an explosion of fun new businesses in Decatur in the last few years, and in window-shopping those new businesses, I have noticed the true resources in our established businesses.  I can shop for my teenage nieces at the cute boutiques like The Corner Store and Embellished located on and off the square.  The Prada Shops have tons of options at The Gift Shop, Magic Pony, and Radio Shack for teacher presents, co-worker presents, electronic-lover presents, babies, grandmas, and moms-to-be.  David’s Western Wear, Tractor Supply, and Hibbet’s have great options for the boys, dads, and grandads on my list.  And of course, there’s always Bealls and Wal-Mart that seem to have the basics for anyone on my list.  My plan is to hit a few stores a week and see what speaks to me.  Just three shopping weeks left!!

Not to highlight the time crunch, but it’s definitely there.  Luckily, we have Moonlight Madness this weekend.  We were out of town for Thanksgiving and missed the Lucky Seven Black Friday sales, but I rarely miss the Moonlight Madness Sale that follows the Christmas Parade in Decatur.  After some cozy parade watching with the kids, I usually score a girls shopping night out for the rest of the evening.  Not only do I grab a few good deals, but I spend the evening running into friends all over town also shopping for their loved ones.  In the cheerful shopping atmosphere, gift ideas seem to jump out at me, and I usually come home happy and content with my goodies.  It’s one of my favorite things about this Small Town Living.

So, that’s my plan:  beg friends for favors and shop local.  Between those two options and Amazon.com, I’m hoping I can finish all my shopping and still have time to relax with that egg nog (even though I don’t even really like it), a Christmas Movie, and a crackling fire—because there’s just nothing better than a Cozy Calm Christmas.